A Chinese presidential envoy announced on Saturday China’s intention to establish a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Egypt, to be announced during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to China.
Meng Jianzhu, secretary of Central Politics and Law Commission of the Communist Party of China, met with Al-Sisi in Cairo on Saturday. Meng was acting in his capacity as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s envoy and head of a Chinese delegation currently visiting Egypt.
Meng stressed the importance of Al-Sisi’s upcoming visit saying that it will see the announcement of the strategic partnership. He added that China congratulates Al-Sisi for the measures he has taken in the fields of economic and social development, according to state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.
Al-Sisi stressed that Egypt is serious in its desire to strengthen relations with China. He highlighted that Egypt can learn from China’s experience in the field of economics, but added that the partnership should see cooperation in multiple areas, including counterterrorism.
The president expressed his desire for increased investment from China, referring specifically to the development of the Suez Canal zone.
Egypt has been pushing in recent months for increased Chinese investments as the government looks for a way out of an economic crisis. This has been a major issue emerging since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Shoukry hosted the vice-president of China’s Communist Party in early November to discuss future economic plans and potential cooperation. Investment was also on the agenda when Shoukry hosted China’s Special Envoy for the Middle East in October, when they also discussed issues affecting the Middle East region.
Al-Sisi is set to make at least three foreign visits before the end of the year. Aside from his scheduled trip to China, He is expected travel to France and Italy next week, which will mark his first official visit to Europe as president of Egypt.